Prosecutors urge 10-month suspended sentence for Benzema in blackmail case

Paris, Oct 21 (EFE).- Prosecutors on Thursday requested Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema serve a ten-month prison sentence on charges of blackmailing fellow player Mathieu Valbuena over a sex tape.

Out of the five accused, the French footballer was the only one not present at the court proceedings, which began Wednesday in Versailles, due to professional obligations.

If the court agrees with prosecutors, Benzema would only be incarcerated should he reoffend.

The prosecutors’ request for Benzema was far lighter than the other four accused given that he does not face the charge of blackmail.

Public prosecutors requested sentences ranging from 18 months to four years for the four.

Prosecutor Julien Eyraud acknowledged that Benzema’s public status brought greater public attention to the case, adding that the requested penalties were drawn up based on the level of involvement each defendant is accused of having in the alleged blackmail.

Ségolène Mares, another member of the prosecution, claimed Benzema had played a role within the group attempting to blackmail Valbuena given his clout in the French national team.

“He is not the good samaritan who came to help his teammate, he is an accomplice who sought to help the blackmailers,” she said.

The hearing is due to end on Friday when Benzema could be found guilty or acquitted.

Four other people have also been accused of blackmailing Valbuena over the explicit video in 2015.

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